Brink sparks Cascades’ third-quarter surge in victory over Heat

One night after needing overtime to squeak past the UBC Okanagan Heat, Katie Brink and the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team made sure the rematch wouldn’t be such a nail-biter.

Brink, a third-year forward out of Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Secondary, ignited a third-quarter explosion by scoring 10 straight UFV points on Saturday evening in Kelowna. She finished with a team-high 18 points off the bench, and the Cascades cruised to a 78-58 victory to cap a weekend sweep of the Heat.

Nataliia Gavryliuk of the Cascades (left) pushes the ball upcourt vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat. - Greystoke Photography

Nataliia Gavryliuk of the Cascades (left) pushes the ball upcourt vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat.
– Greystoke Photography

“She had a great weekend,” Cascades coach Al Tuchscherer said of Brink. “Last night I thought she was instrumental, scoring six points in overtime, and she was great off the bench again tonight.

“She took five charges last night, and another one tonight. Game-changer type of stuff, putting her body on the line for the team. When she’s doing those things, it’s going to go a long way for us.”

On Friday, UFV (2-0) had required three free throws from Kaitlyn McDonald with 0.4 seconds left to force OT, before pulling away in the extra session for an 82-75 win.

They were a more focused group for the second game of the weekend, and did a better job exploiting their size advantage against the speedy-but-smallish Heat (0-2).

The Cascades built a 41-29 lead at halftime, then put the game away thanks to a dominant third quarter. UFV outscored the Heat 20-5 in the frame, with Brink leading the charge.

In addition to Brink’s offensive outburst, fellow post players Sarah Wierks (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Shayna Litman (13 points, nine rebounds) also thrived on Saturday.

“It’s contrasting styles between us and them,” Tuchscherer noted. “We wanted to work the ball inside, and those three are a handful for anybody, it doesn’t matter who we play. They’re tough, physical , veteran players, and we need them to do that for us to be successful.

“We had a game plan today very similar to yesterday’s, and we followed it a lot better. That was encouraging.”

Nataliia Gavryliuk also had a big game for the Cascades, notching 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Jessica Jazdarehee scored a game-high 21 points and added nine boards for the Heat.

The UFV basketball teams host their home openers this coming week – the UNBC Timberwolves are the guests on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 5 p.m., men 7 p.m.) at the Envision Athletic Centre.

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